[Paris 7] L’ami Jean in 2022: oui ou non?

Is he being overlooked? Not so sure. I think it’s more he doesn’t want to join the Michelin system, I’ve heard he has thrown the suspected Michelin inspector out of the restaurant.

His rice pudding is mythical, but many has copied since the early days.

Jégo is a talented chef with strong personality, the vibe of the restaurant reflects him, it’s a place you either like a lot or dislike. It’s not a place owned by a group with a marketing or decoration team, nor a fine dining place that you will be seated comfortably but you will be well fed with good products, whether you like or dislike his style.

@beam Tables are closed together because you are eating in a bistrot.

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All excellent points - We will stick with CLJ, I forgot I had plans for Pierre Sang another night, and just added Origines to my lunch lineup as well - it’s very nearby where I’m staying, which is perfect, and I can’t stray too far from the Hermes boutiques, in case my wife is ‘lucky’ enough to get an appointment (a whole other drama, where her luck would be my financial ruin).

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Point taken, and apologies for appearance of cross-examination of your first response - I value your judgment and recent experience! Now looking very much forward to it!

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I mean that he is really overlooked as a culinary talent, his personality attracting more attention, and that is unrelated to anything regarding Michelin. About which he is pretty ambivalent, besides. He did throw an inspector out of his restaurant once, but he is not the only one who did (most other chefs who ever did that, like Philippe Delacourcelle, are undocumented), and there is this little doodle on one of the restaurant’s walls depicting a Michelin inspector with a devil’s tail and horns. However in recent years he has mellowed somehow towards the guide. But not to the point of bothering about it.
He is mostly famous for portion size or rather for the avalanche of food that falls onto you when you’re sitting in his dining-room, for the rough and somewhat brutal style of his cooking, but not really for his genius and the wide range of his talent and imagination as a cook. Usually when I sit down with a chef to write the contents of a recipe book from scratch, it takes a few hours. When we worked on his one and only book, this was done in an hour and a half, just throwing ingredient names into the air and letting him build the recipe around them, ending up with fifty recipes which hardly had to be modified for the photography. He’s amazing.

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No apologies needed, I do understand your doubts. It has become a bit tricky to find good, wholesome food in Paris at reasonable prices. I went to Arnaud Nicolas last week, a place where I usually feel safe about the overall quality of the cooking, and the main dish was a failure, oversalted and overfussy. It was also extremely expensive. Recently I went to Omar Dhiab and it was a disaster (the media are all over him though). It felt like we had gone years back, to the worst of the molecular period. I think that the high price of raw products is taking its toll as a general rule. Molecular ingredients (powders, gels, foams, slimes, goos, etc.) cost nearly nothing. Some young media-cherished chefs are indulging in that sort of thing a little too much these days, all the more since that produces more instagrammable dishes.

For one thing, Stephane Jego would never make any concessions on product quality even if his life depended on it. This is not what I have seen other chefs do recently. So if you happen to have a bad experience at L’Ami Jean, at least it won’t be because the chef has served you inferior ingredients.

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We ate there once with friends. None of us were especially impressed. We neither liked it nor disliked itl

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Didn’t think I had any photos of L’Ami Jean, as we hardly ever take any. But, we do. So…

An order of the razor clams. Enough for 2 (although we ordered the pate (no photo taken) the 1st dinner & I had the Parmesan soup (2nd photo) the other time):

One order of the Guinea Fowl:

And, of course, the chef (& a view of the tight seating down the middle of the restaurant):

As an aside, I notice that the “rabbit” dish I had is listed as “Hare Stew” (“waiter, there’s a hare in my stew”) & the Guinea Fowl is no longer, replaced by Red Partridge.


I plan to go there in a fortnight, so this makes me curious. It’s not just the media, I haven’t seen a single review that wasn’t very positive.

I’m a huge fan of L’ami Jean, but haven’t been there since COVID.

A note on price. 75 euros now equals $75, and there’s no tax in Paris and only a nominal tip to add. that’s a $55 meal in the US with 10% tax and a so-so 20% tip. Your meal there will be a whole lot better than that US meal. A meal at L’Ami Jean’s standards in the US would cost a fortune.

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We loved our dinner two weeks ago at Omar Dhiab. Marinated bonita, perfectly cooked St. Pierre with a sauce Albufera combined with lotte liver, simple pear dessert (pears roasted, confit, fresh, ice cream), nothing molecular. Flavors were remarkable.

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Agree. For us it’s kind of a take it or leave kind of place. If a friend really wanted to go, we would. Otherwise I would shun the noise, crowd, discomfort and heaps of brown food that I can find elsewhere. If I really want a traditional meal I will go to Amarante for the lamb and ris de veau, or L’Assiette for the cassoulet, or Les Arlots for sausage and mash, or other places for game, and I’ll have a much more enjoyable evening.


I’m also a big fan of Origines since they opened in 2019. Julien Boscus has been one of my personal chef crushes, but lately (the last two years) his no-choice lunch menu has been a bit dull, so we order off the carte or choose the 4-course tasting menu. Then it’s whole different game.

Today I had a similar lunch to SFCarole’s dinner, although I did not take dessert. It was very good, even if slightly below what some of the reviews have been saying. My (officially) two-course lunch (entrée and plat) at 39€ was a bargain – it also included five (count 'em) amuse bouches and two generous dessert-like servings that came t the end with the café that I ordered. I’ll be back next year with L and will be interested in seeing what they’re doing then. Wine markups had been very high, but I think they’ve gotten the message and the by-the-glass selections are now not out of line, and you can get some good wines for as little as 50€/bottle. Service seemed a little inexperienced, but that can easily change with more experience.

I’d say Carmene was there on an off-day (hers or the restaurant’s) but for the fact that, IRRC, Parn said not everyone has the same reaction to the restaurant.


What did they serve for a main plat? Btw, we only got two amuses, which were both delicious. But five, wow, what a bounty! (We were there for lunch, not dinner).

It was a press lunch, it started with about five amuse-bouches out of which only one was good (a sort of tiny cheesecake), the famous deep-fried vine leaves were greasy and tasteless, then we had raw sea bream which was completely spoiled by a very medicinal-tasting lovage puree, so surabundant that I had to leave two thirds of it on the plate. The whole dish tasted like going to the dentist. What followed was a tiny chunk of ‘twenty-four-day-aged paleron’, but when the meat itself is of poor quality, aging doesn’t help. I don’t remember what lay around it, probably because there wasn’t anything worth remembering. Dessert was OK with the roasted pear but that was the only high point of the meal. Everything felt and tasted out of balance, overcomplicated (too many ingredients on the plate) and a bit gimmicky. Not an isolated experience, though, there seems to be a trend among young chefs who have Michelin stars like dollar signs in their tyes.

I also thought the place was pretty claustrophobic with the menacing narrowness of the corridor leading from the show-offy staged open kitchen at the entrance to the dining-room resulting in an almost-permanent risk of bumping into a waiter holding a wide tray whenever you need to leave your table.
Be sure that if there were any possibility that I was on an “off day”, I wouldn’t have dared to post about it here.


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Not all of the five amuses bouches worked, I give you that. I didn’t find the space claustrophobic, but the decor and overall effect reminded me of something I would have seen in an upscale restaurant in West Berlin in the 1980s (ouch, but true). But there certainly were other positive aspects, which is why I will return next year to see how it develops. (It’s not Auberge de Nicolas Flamel, thank god!!).

Onz, I thought you were talking about Origines. I see now you were referring to Omar Dhiab.

So many of the new restaurants in Paris these days seem to have the big open kitchens. I guess I thought it was because people in general were more interested in cooking and wanted to see how their meals were prepared. Gone are the days when many had cooks. As far as Omar Dhiab being claustrophobic, I didn’t find that so much either, but in general I’m not fond of restaurants that have no windows or where the main dining room doesn’t. I thought I’d prefer O.D. if the salle were in the front and kitchen in the back.